World on the Horizon: Swahili Arts Across the Indian Ocean will be the first major traveling exhibition dedicated to the arts of the Swahili coast and their historically deep, fluid, and enduring connections to eastern and central Africa and the port towns of the western Indian Ocean world. The exhibition will offer audiences an unprecedented opportunity to view over 100 artworks brought together from public and private collections in East Africa, Europe, Oman, and the United States. Drawing from both historical and contemporary periods, World on the Horizon will explore the Swahili coast, hinterland, and western Indian Ocean rim as worlds linked not only by centuries of trade, but also through the flow of aesthetic ideas and practices that have long traversed the region. It will invite visitors to see Swahili aesthetic forms as itinerant and open to re-visioning across both time and space, and to consider what happens when different systems of signification meet in culturally confluent zones like the Swahili coast.
Co-curators: Allyson Purpura, senior curator & curator of African art, and Prita Meier, assistant professor of Art History